MAPLETON — A woman who allegedly crashed her car, then told her insurance company she was the victim of vehicle theft, is facing a felony fraud charge.
Theresa Ann Ryg, 43, called the Mapleton Police Department in June 2011 to report her car had been damaged while it was parked outside her residence in the city. Her Ford Escape had flat tires on its driver’s side and its bumper was damaged.
Ryg told the officer someone had apparently taken the car without her permission the night before, damaged it and returned it before she woke up that morning. She said she couldn’t get into the car because the doors were locked and the keys were inside.
After the officer opened a door, he started the SUV. He reported the radio was turned up very loud and the gas tank was almost empty. Ryg told him the gas tank was more than half full when she pulled the car from the driveway into the street the night before so her kids could play in the driveway.
The officer did notice that it was likely the tires had been flattened while the car was parked. The rims weren’t damaged and the bead of the tires were still attached to the rim.
After reporting the theft, Ryg filed a claim with her insurance company saying the SUV was damaged after it had been stolen. A claim of about $6,000 was paid to fix the damage.
While investigating another incident about two weeks later, the same officer spoke to someone who told him Ryg had damaged her car and lied about it being stolen. He said she called him and asked him to look at the damage, explaining she had hit a pole while driving in the parking lot of Mankato’s Pawn America store.
The Mapleton officer asked a Mankato police officer to check poles at the store. That officer found paint that matched the SUV on a concrete base for a pole in the store’s parking lot.
Ryg is scheduled to appear in court May 24 for a felony insurance fraud charge and a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a crime.